How Can the Best Time of the Year Be Our Worst?

God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

There is nothing better than a bright sunny day, especially when the temperature is anywhere between 60 – 85 degrees. A sunny day is so good for our mental health. We feel better on and sunny day and we have more strength as a result. All of these conditions result in greater productivity, and getting things done always improves our outlook on life.

Christmas Depression?

The Christmas season is thought to be one of the worst times of year for depression. One would think a season as lovely and meaningful as Christmas would be the happiest time of year. This is actually part of the problem. People feel worse because they know it is a meaningful time of year, and yet they cannot shake their anxiety and depression. The Christmas holidays can be difficult for a variety of reasons. The change associated with the loss of loved ones leaves a person feeling lost and uninspired. Financial woes can bring added pressure that make the holidays difficult to handle. The loss of employment, being displaced from family, broken relationships and living alone are just a few of the circumstances that complicate what should be an otherwise happy time.

We handle all of these difficult circumstances much better in the spring, summer and fall, but Christmas happens to fall during a time of year where the days are the shortest. Winter has begun, dreary weather sets in, and there is substantially less sunshine. We need the light. We feel better in the light of day. We handle everything better during the light of day. Everyone knows a cold or any kind of sickness or flu is worst at night. Why?

In Darkness Seek Light

All I know is this. God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. We can seek God morning, noon or evening. No matter what time of night, and no matter what time of year God is light, and desires to bring His light into our lives. Do not wait until the days are shortest to begin to dwell in His presence on a regular basis. Think of your heart as a bank where deposits are placed on account. Make daily deposits with prayer, praise, study, meditation and service so your heart will be overflowing with the light of God during the shortest and darkest days of the year. Christmas lights although beautiful may not bring joy to our hearts, but they serve as a reminder that God sent His Son into a dark world so Jesus could become the light of the world, and bring light into our lives.

 

Pastor Jonathan

What Path are We Following

Paul stated in the opening words of this letter he is writing to all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints. (Romans 1:7)  Then Paul writes, “So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Romans 1:15-16)  The word Greek is “Hellen” in the Greek language.  Thayer’s Greek Lexicon states the definition of “Hellen” as, “1. A Greek by nationality, whether a native of the main land or of the Greek islands or colonies. 2. In a wider sense the name embraces all nations not Jews that made the language, customs, and learning of the Greeks their own.”  Paul, by using the word Greek, seems to be suggesting that the Gospel he seeks to share is intended not only for the Jews but now for all of the Greek influenced nations. I would suggest, when Paul mentions “them” in Romans chapter one Paul is referring to cities, regions and nations who have followed the downward path of rejecting the one true God to follow after other gods, appetites and/or desires.

How God Dealt with Israel’s Disobedience

Consider for example how God often dealt with the nation of Israel throughout their long and storied history.  When individuals within the nation of Israel rejected God and chose to follow their own sinful ways God always allowed time for the nation to deal with its sins.  If the leaders refused to deal with their sin God took measures to correct the nation and its leaders, but if they did not heed correction, God took further measures until eventually judgement came through defeat and/or captivity.   Captivity would often lead to repentance and a return to God by a remnant.  Notice, when God turned the nation of Israel over to captivity even the faithful suffered captivity along with the rest of the nation.

Eventually, the nation of Israel was divided into two kingdoms and God dealt with them accordingly.  Israel, being the name of the northern kingdom, eventually was carried off into captivity for the last time while the southern kingdom called Jerusalem lingered a while longer but both endured the same fate.  Why did this happen?  God gave them up to their uncleanness as they chose through the lust of their hearts to dishonor their bodies among themselves.  Did all of the people live in ungodliness? Certainly not, but the entire nation experienced the slow but eventual downfall.

Has America been given up to uncleanness? 

God is long suffering and abundant in mercy, but Psalm 103:8-10 indicates He will not always strive with us.  Our system of government does not demand righteousness of its people.  Therefore, it is incumbent upon the people of God to pray for revival and be proactive concerning our witness of Jesus Who can heal every broken heart and set the captive free.

Pastor Jonathan